Choosing to Live

In the past two weeks, I have seen two posts on Facebook from people I know, at least peripherally, that basically say the person is considering suicide and I want to bring that topic up today. Sometimes it’s a taboo subject, but it shouldn’t be. This is something we need to talk about. This is a copy of the last one I saw:

“I’m just being honest… everyone in my life would be better off without me. It’s been a whole year and I guess I just never found a reason to live again. I’m drowning”

First, I want to say that if this is how you are feeling, reach out, not just on Facebook, but reach out to people you know in person. It doesn’t matter that we aren’t physically gathering together because of pandemic stuff right now, reach out anyways. Facebook and other social media are energy sucks that are probably not really going to help you feel better. You have to take action for yourself to stay alive and not just one action, it is a series of actions. The first is reaching out. The second is looking at the core of your being and figuring out how to make a commitment to this world, to the human race, to this life.

Recently, it seems, things have gone to hell, but giving up on your own life is also giving up on humanity. So, how do we hold on when things feel bleak?

Definitely, if you are feeling this way, it is a longer exploration than just a blog post, but I’d like to take this post to invite you to write some reasons to be here. This blog is for using writing to improve metal- emotional health. That’s for everyone, not just writers and not just people having mental health diagnoses or struggling with suicidal thoughts. Writing can help you confront some of your thoughts and feelings, but connecting with people who care about you is the strongest way to help you through tough times. Human connection! During a pandemic, that seems hard sometimes, but look for ways to connect, to take the edge off loneliness or sadness, to know you aren’t alone.

For today’s writing, I invite you to choose a more free writing exercise (#1) or head to #2 which is more formatted. Or do both. Either way, this is a time to reflect on you and your reasons for being here in this life.

Write 1.

Free write about the good things in your life, the things you enjoy and the things that bring you pleasure. If you would like to write to a quote, respond to a quote from Mary Oliver: “it is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.”

Write 2- (A more structured write)

3 things you notice are beautiful today- list them (use your 5 senses- sound, touch, smell, what you see, what you hear)

The things I love could be recorded on _________________________, ____________________, and _______________________.

I live for:_________________________ and _______________________ (make this line relate back to the 1st of the 3 things you listed above.

I live for :__________________________________________ (make this line relate back to the 2nd of the 3 things you listed above.

And _______________________________________ (List a 3rd thing you live for, relate it back to the 3rd thing you listed above).

I am committed to this life because _____________(give one reason why if not several).

Write 3 lines to the Mary Oliver quote: “it is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.”

List 3 more things you find beautiful and that you enjoy.

Write: I live for__________________ (fill in the blank with something related to one of the things you listed or relating to one of the response sentences to the Mary Oliver quote.

You can move your sentence order around if you want it to be a poem or hybrid piece. The main thing though is to write for you, about your life, your reasons to live.

Life is rough right now, it’s hard. We don’t have to pretend it isn’t, but we don’t have to give up either. Find ways to survive. In most games, that is the objective, stay alive, stay afloat, win. To win here is to keep going, to stay alive!

If you need further support or feel your life may not be worth it or you’d be better off dead, or others wouldn’t miss you, etc, please reach out to people you know and if not them, call a hotline. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is: 1-800-273-8255

Thank you for writing with us today!

Next week, I’m excited to say, we will have a guest blogger who will come in and give a prompt and her insight about writing for mental wellbeing, so be sure to tune in!

If you would like to write with us every week to support your mental health and wellbeing, please follow the blog. We’d love to have you!

Thank you! Be well!

Liza Wolff-Francis

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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